Right to be Heard report on IMHA provision published
An important new piece of research reveals that people with a mental health problem find the experience of detention stressful and difficult. The report also indicates that it is likely fewer than half the numbers of qualifying patients are accessing an IMHA service. There was a strong consensus that those who need the IMHA service the most access it the least.
The research found that many service-users and carers lack an awareness and understanding of IMHA services and therefore do not realise how it could help. However, those who were using the service were largely positive about their relationship with their IMHA and the value advocacy can bring to their situation.
The report effectively highlights the challenges that lay ahead for IMHA services such as how to adequately respond to the diversity of rural and urban communities and how to improve the extent to which mental health service users can influence the design and delivery of their local IMHA service.
Concerns were also raised about the lack of understanding and awareness of IMHA by mental health staff with just under half of the mental health professionals involved in the research unable to name their local IMHA provider.
The research was undertaken by a team, led by Karen Newbiggin at the University of Central Lancashire and was published in June 2012.
Find out more about seAp's IMHA services here.